How researchers can get involved in education & outreach

How will you get involved?

ARISE has more than a dozen ways for researchers to get involved in education and outreach.

This is such an essential part of ARISE that we require all faculty to engage in at least one of these options each year. Postdocs and grad students are also encouraged to participate.

Need help deciding? Use the handy Selector Tool

Or, read through the tasks, which are listed below by the audience they serve.


Youth & families

Adults (professionals & community members)

Once you have reviewed the options, submit your top choices. We will do our best to match you with those activities.

Overview: This program provides research experiences for first-generation and underrepresented students at KSU. The program focuses on early-career students (ex. First-time freshmen, transfer students etc.). Students usually do not have prior undergraduate research experience and can stay in the program for up to three years.

Students are asked to work in research areas for 6-10 hour/week and are paid $1,250/semester. Scholars from all disciples are supported through the program.

Task: Faculty mentor

Duties: Mentors help the undergrads conduct research safely & ethically, maintain lab notebooks, share results, give poster presentations, support learning, etc.

Timing: Mentors are selected during spring semester. Students start the program during Fall semester. Students are asked to commit 6-10 hours/week in their research areas. Students present work during Spring semester.

Location: In person at KSU

Training: Throughout program

Perks: Mentors shape the future careers of these undergrads, making life-long impacts; gain a chance to recruit future grad students

Contacts: Brenee King at KSU,

Overview: This program provides research experiences for low-income undergraduate students during their first year at KU. It also supports their overall transition to college. Students are paid $10/hour to work for a faculty member as a research assistant and participate in monthly professional development activities. These scholars work in departments from history to engineering to the arts. No prior research experience is required, just an interest in research and learning something new.

Task: Faculty mentor

Duties: You will help low-income undergrads conduct research safely & ethically, maintain lab notebooks, share results, give poster presentations, support learning, etc.


  • Potential mentors submit job descriptions for scholars in April.
  • If matched with a student, the mentor will attend a virtual orientation about the program in August to meet the student and make sure it is a good fit.
  • If it’s a good fit, the mentor guide the student in the research project throughout the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters).

Location: In person at KU

Training: Virtual orientation provided in August

Perks: Mentors will shape the future careers of these undergrads, making life-long impacts; gain a chance to recruit future grad students


Overview: The Kansas Data Science Consortium (KDSC) has two objectives: 1) to develop a data science capstone course that expands data science capacity in Kansas; and 2) to build data science instructional capacity with an online repository for data science curriculum materials.

Task (choose 1): Faculty mentor, Curriculum developer


  • Faculty Mentor: Students across Kansas are participating in a new data science capstone course called the Community Data Lab (CDL). The projects worked on are built around real-world datasets sourced from business and organizations of all types. Faculty mentors will leverage their knowledge of an industry to guide students through projects related to that expertise. 
  • Curriculum Developer: Help prepare data science curriculum material for a new online repository. These materials may be based on the student projects included in the CDL but may also be made independently. The repository will be open source and tagged with the data science competencies that the component speaks to (e.g., data visualization). Developers will be involved in the preparation of materials for the repository and maintenance of materials on the repository.


  • Faculty Mentor: Semi-regular advising to students, availability to answer student questions via email. Approx. 1-hour per week during the semester.
  • Curriculum Developer: Most material preparation will occur at the end of the semester; repository maintenance is infrequent. Approx.1 week – 1 month.

Location: Remote or in-person

Training: None required. Experience in a relevant industry is preferred for faculty mentors.

Perks: You are helping expand data science capacity in Kansas for both learners and community partners. Curricular materials give students hands-on experience working on data-driven solutions that help Kansas businesses and organizations make informed decisions.

Contact: Gryffin Eason,

Overview: KS-LSAMP promotes the success of undergraduates from groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math. Students are recruited from existing programs and partner institutions across Kansas.

Tasks (choose 1): Faculty mentor; guest speaker


  • Mentor: help undergrads conduct research safely & ethically, maintain lab notebooks, share results, give poster presentations, support learning, etc.
  • Speaker: give a talk on a relevant topic or tour of a research facility


  • Mentor: June-July (student requirement 30-35 hours/week)
  • Speaker: Roughly 1 hour during the summer


  • Mentor: In person at KSU
  • Speaker: Virtual or in-person


  • Mentor: 1.5 hour training provided before the start of the program
  • Speaker: n/a


  • Mentor shapes the future careers of undergraduate students, making life-long impacts; gains a chance to recruit future grad students
  • Speaker: sharing your knowledge empowers the undergrads, giving back feels good

Contact: Brenee King,

Overview: The ARISE Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program empowers undergrads with an intensive summer experience. Cohorts of 10-12 participants will engage in interdisciplinary research focused on data analytics, resilient infrastructure, community resilience, and social equity. Undergrads learn about the research process while developing professional skills and exploring career paths.

Tasks (choose 1)

  • Mentor: help the undergrads conduct research safely & ethically, maintain lab notebooks, share results, give poster presentations, etc.
  • Speaker: give a talk, training session(s), or tour of a research facility.


  • Mentor: 10-weeks from May to July in summer 2024, 2025, and/or 2026.
  • Speaker: Ranges from ~1 to 10 hours during the summer


  • Mentor/Tour Guide: In person at KSU, KU, WSU
  • Speaker: Virtual


  • Mentor: virtual training will be provided before the summer REU.
  • Speaker/Tour Guide: n/a


  • Mentor shapes the future careers of undergrads, making life-long impacts; gains a chance to recruit future grad students
  • Speaker/Tour Guide: shares knowledge that empowers the undergrads; giving back feels good

Contact: Jason Bergtold,

Overview: This initiative is a partnership with the KU Natural History Museum, TRIO programs, and Kansas libraries. It seeks to build an interest in science and engineering among underserved youth populations, families, and communities in Kansas through a lens of resilience and socially relevant activities. This goal will be achieved by exploring connections between infrastructure, the environment, wellbeing, and a community’s response to hazards.

The 3 areas you can contribute to include: 1) Build Your Future activites for TRIO youth; 2) Family STEM nights; and 3) activity guides for Kansas libraries.

Tasks (choose 1):  Science Communicator, Translator, Sharer, Promoter


  • Science Communicator: host an activity or share a demonstration at a drop-in outreach family event
  • Translator: help translate English language library STEM outreach activity guides into Spanish
  • Sharer: share any public/user facing version of research efforts (e.g., mapping, simulation) that could be used by museum staff at an outreach event
  • Promoter: help promote the availability of library STEM resources to public libraries in local and surrounding communities (includes bilingual activity guides and stipends for supplies)


  • Science communicator: 1, 2-hour evening event in spring (likely March or April) + travel time to KCK site and your prep time; opportunity is available each spring in YR2 to YR5
  • Sharer: flexible (whenever resources are available)
  • Translator: spring 2026 (YR 4)
  • Promoter: YR5


    • Science Communicator: in person at KCK College
    • Sharer: remote
    • Translator: remote
    • Promoter: remote or in person


    • Science Communicator (optional): in person or virtual overview to share strategies for engaging audiences, and can provide feedback on activity ideas
    • Sharer: N/A
    • Translator: N/A (general guidelines will be shared)
    • Promoter: promotional text will be provided


    • Science Communicator: opportunity to share your research with public audiences and show how it is relevant to their communities; gain experience communicating with youth and families; expand the reach or your work; sharing information empowers individuals and communities
    • Sharer: expand the reach of your work; leverage an opportunity to share some of your research with community members; sharing information empowers individuals and communities
    • Translator: support the accessibility and reach of STEM resources for public libraries; sharing information empowers individuals and communities
    • Promoter: help build an understanding of infrastructure, environment, and well-being, and support resiliency in urban and rural communities; sharing information empowers individuals and communities

    Contact: Eleanor Gardner,

    Overview: This activity seeks to expand the Saturday Academy at Kansas City, Kansas Community College (KCKCC) with new content focused on the data science of infrastructure. Saturday Academy is taught in 4 Module sessions on Saturdays to about 200 middle school and high school students. Modules topics include: data science relating to real time air quality data, the electrical grid, the water infrastructure, and natural gas infrastructure of Kansas City, KS.

    Tasks (choose 1): Panelist, Tour Guide, Planner


    • Panelist: Participate in a Zoom panel discussion on science careers 
    • Tour Guide: Provide virtual or in person tour of your research lab and discuss your research
    • Planner: help translate ARISE research into activities for Saturday Academy participants


    • Panelist, Tour Guide: roughly 1 hour during fall or spring
    • Planner: A few hours anytime year-round

    Location: Remote or in-person

    Training: n/a

    Perks: You are helping inspire youth to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

    Contacts: Jessica Rodas,, and Mary Patterson,


    Overview: ARISE promotes community-engaged research (CEnR) by: 1) Enhancing capacity of researchers to engage authentically with community members in CEnR; 2) Broadening community engagement and outreach; and 3) Developing training materials to assist communities in decision-making.

    Tasks (choose 1): Presenter, developer, advisor


    • Presenter: give a talk about your research, other relevant topic at monthly roundtables or in the community
    • Developer: develop training materials to assist communities in decision-making
    • Advisor: advise community advocates


    • Presenter: ranges from ~1 to a few hours, any time year-round
    • Developer: ranges from a few hours to several weeks
    • Advisor: ranges from a few months to years


    • Presenter: in-person or remote
    • Developer: remote
    • Advisor: in-person or remote

    Training: Community engagement roundtables and online training provided by the Community Tool Box, which is a service by the Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas

    Perks: You will help ensure that research knowledge becomes action for Kansas communities; promoting infrastructure resilience helps reduce the severity, duration, and suffering by large-scale disasters.

    Contacts: Jomella Watson-Thompson,; Emily Rountree,

    Overview: The Environmental Finance Center at Wichita State University supports the overall project effort by creating connections between research discoveries and community-level implementation, rolling-out findings and outcomes of this project in meaningful and practical ways. Specifically, the EFC will

    • support testbed community engagement planning and communication
    • provide training(s) on relevant topics
    • develop and implement Resiliency Tabletop Exercises to train utility staff and decision-makers
    • develop and deliver conference presentations for utility professionals and municipal leaders

    Tasks (choose 1): Science translator, Presenter, Facilitator


    • Science Translator: Participate in development of Resiliency Tabletop Exercises, assist team with translating research and integrating key findings into presentations and trainings for utility professionals
    • Presenter: Co-present at conferences for utility professionals and municipal leaders; present relevant information as part of tabletop exercises
    • Facilitator: Assist with facilitation of tabletop exercises


    • Translate findings for presentations and trainings: Years 2-5
    • Develop tabletop exercises: Year 2 & 3
    • Facilitate tabletop exercises: Year 4 & 5
    • Co-present at conferences: Year 4 & 5

    Location: TBD


    • Presentations on standard trainings EFC provides for utilities (e.g. CIP, Rates & Finance, Asset Management) – offered to all ARISE participants in year 1 & 2
    • 1-2 sessions on approach for facilitating tabletop exercises – offered in years 3-5


    • Disseminate your research to an audience that can directly apply findings to improving their utilities
    • Learn needs in the industry and identify new research questions from utility and municipal staff

    Contact: Tonya Bronleewe,